Use the right protective equipment, secure the work area, be careful of water and moisture – these are just some of the rules you need to keep in mind when working with a welding machine. Find out in this article what basic instructions you must follow if you use such a device.
The welding machine is generally used to join two metal elements and is part of the endowment of crafts workshops, construction teams, but also of households where many of the repairs are made without resorting to professionals. Although it seems simple to use, this device requires careful preparation and compliance with very precise conditions of use to obtain good and safe results.
Don’t start working without equipping yourself properly. You need a protective mask to protect your eyes from strong light and sparks generated during the use of the welding machine, which can affect your eyesight if you look directly at the flame when working.
For hand protection, use special gloves for welding. These models have the role of preventing electric shock, while protecting you against heat and radiation released during the use of the device. They are most often made of natural cow or pig leather.
As in the case of using other powerful electrical equipment, when preparing to weld, it is advisable to dress properly, using long clothes, to protect the skin from the heat released by the device, but also from possible sparks that could jump.
The welding process involves the release of toxic substances that can affect your health if they accumulate in the respiratory system. So avoid using this appliance indoors, which does not benefit from efficient ventilation and choose either to work outdoors or to use an area where you can leave the windows wide open.
Be careful not to be near flammable materials, whether we are talking about gas, liquid fuel or paper, cardboard, wood, etc. to avoid the risk of fire or explosion. Also, because you work with electricity, it is important not to turn on the welding machine in humid conditions or in the presence of water.
Do not use the device in the sun or when it is raining, if you work outside, or in environments rich in dust or corrosive gases, or when there are strong air currents.
Before you start welding, make sure that you have everything you need at hand (electrodes, cables, hammer, wire brush, extension cord) and that all the elements of the device are well fixed (nozzles, contact, speakers, etc.).
The electrodes are chosen depending on the type of current with which they will be used, the characteristics targeted for welding and those of the bonded material. You can opt for rutile models, which can be used with both direct current and alternating current, and which offer good adaptability to vertical and horizontal welds, are suitable for thin materials and ensure good welding, but not very resistant.
Another option are the basic electrodes, with a viscous welding bath that facilitates the adaptation to any soldering position. They can be used on thin materials and ensure a good resistance welding. But it works only with direct current, the electric arc starts hard and is quite unstable and produces additional material in larger quantities than the rutile ones.
If you need a version that does not generate too much residual material, we recommend cellulosic electrodes, with high hydrogen content. But it is good to know that they can be used only in direct current and at a high voltage and that the welding obtained is irregular, being therefore less suitable for projects that need to look good.
Connecting to electricity
If you need to use an extension cord, it is recommended that the total length of the power cord not exceed 10m. It must be well stretched, taking care not to make loops or knots, to limit the risk of overheating in those areas. It is also important that both the cable and the socket and housing are grounded.
How to weld correctly
In order to work safely and efficiently, you must use an electrode that has the paste intact and is not wet. The welding device is held with both hands, and the electrode slowly approaches the space where the two materials must be joined, gradually adjusting the intensity of the current arc, until you get the necessary value.
Welding is achieved by achieving consecutive melting points, obtained by maintaining and repeatedly withdrawing the electrode from the surface of the materials you are gluing. At the end you will get a straight line made up of small dots, which must be thick enough to provide the strength that the project needs. For stability and durability it is important that the welding is done on both sides of the joined materials.
Never touch the freshly welded area, because you risk getting burned. Wait a few minutes for the material to cool. Then use a slag hammer to remove excess material, tapping lightly. In this way you also check the resistance of the obtained segment. Finish by cleaning the area with a wire brush and then sanding, if the object you are working on needs a flawless appearance or careful finishing is an important technical requirement.
Types of devices
You can choose between several types of devices, such as those with coated electrodes, transformer or rectifier type, known as MMA, gas or MIG / MAG variants that work by melting a metal wire, or inert gas versions, TIG type , which works with non-consumable electrode, made of tungsten or tungsten.
Each of them offers specific advantages and disadvantages, and can be purchased in classic or inverter format. Those who are already determined to look for the best welding inverter for their projects probably know that these versions are more compact and easier to use, consume less energy and offer better precision of the voltage used. But they are also more expensive and a bit more fragile.